ByStu Jackson, The Rams
After two consecutive weeks on the road, the Rams are back home at SoFi Stadium in Week 5 to take on the Cowboys. Kickoff from SoFi Stadium on Sunday is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. pacific time on FOX.
In advance of the contest, here is your First Look at Rams-Cowboys, presented by American Airlines:
Notable Cowboys additions
Re-signed QB Cooper Rush to practice squad on Aug. 31: Rush was later signed to the active roster in wake of starter Dak Prescott’s thumb injury and has helped lead Dallas to three straight wins.
Signed S Malik Hooker to a 2-year deal in March: Hooker’s 20 total tackles are fourth-most on Dallas’ defense, and he has also played a key role in the Cowboys’ ability to limit explosive pass plays through their first four games.
Top performers in Week 4
Rush completed 15 of 27 pass attempts for 223 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas’ 25-10 win over Washington.
RB Ezekiel Elliott led the Cowboys backfield with 19 carries for 49 yards.
WR CeeDee Lamb was Rush’s top target, hauling in six catches for 97 yards and one touchdown. WR Michael Gallup (two catches for 13 yards) was on the receiving end of Rush’s other passing touchdown.
Dallas’ defense was led by interceptions by S Daron Bland and CB Trevon Diggs. CB Anthony Brown added a forced fumble.
Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams
Once again, attention will be paid to the trenches this week.
Between the Rams’ injuries along their offensive line and the Cowboys’ use of linebacker Micah Parsons, it is perhaps the biggest storyline entering Sunday’s game.
The Cowboys line up Parsons all over the field to take advantage of his versatility. He can play off the ball, cover running backs and tight ends, blitz and also serve as a pass-rushing defensive end. According to Pro Football Focus, Parsons’ 22 pressures are second-most in the NFL this season.
In other words, offenses must know where he is at all times.
The attention he commands opens things up for Dallas’ other pass-rushers – that sounds familiar – which can in turn present challenges for an opposing offensive line.
That places increased importance on not only the communication along the offensive line, but between the offensive line and quarterback Matthew Stafford as well.